Screaming Into The Abyss

The Truth About "No Hidden Fees"
By Ben Zvan
On November 23, 2010 at 08:19
Product Reviews

Sunday night, my washing machine broke. I was playing Red Dead Redemption when there was a loud BANG! from the basement followed by a thudthudthudthudthudthudthud! The drum was wobbling inside the washer and things didn't look good. The last time I had a washer do anything unexpected on me, it resulted in a new washer.

So I went to the Sears repair website, since that's where it was purchased, and was surprised to see:

It’s just that simple.

This is the total charge for our visit and labor (part costs not included). No hourly rate, no hidden fees.

So I ordered some of that up.

Now...I had misread this of course. "visit and labor" caused me to skip right over "part costs not included" but the labor is really what kills you on this type of repair; the parts are all cheap.

Turns out that Sears pads the price of their parts so that they can make money on them. $660 for a bearing and a support is stupid expensive. So I paid the $129 and let the guy out. Today I buy a new washer and Sears has left a bad taste in my mouth.

(The parts on Sears "Parts Direct" website total under $200 $350)

Update: I called Sears repair. Since the quote has no actual part numbers, they can't verify that the price is different. They offered to send another tech out to get the part numbers, but can't do that until the service order is closed tonight when the original tech completes his callls for the day. That means calling tomorrow for a tech to show up on Friday or Saturday since Thursday is a holiday.

Update: When I twat a link to this article, I received a tw@ back from @searscares stating

I'm Scott w/Sears. I'm sorry for the frustration. Plz email us @

I checked to see that is owned by the same folks that own and sent them an email today at 10:30. It's now 16:30 and I have heard nothing back. I have sent a follow-up email letting them know I'll be buying elsewhere.

Update: Sears corporate has successfully contacted me after the person who was going to call me left unexpectedly. I have received an appology and will be receiving a refund of my $129 due to their lack of ability to promptly help me. I appreciate this and will continue to shop at Sears, but may remain tentative about using their repair service. I've also been given a special phone number for the corportate office that I can call if I need anything else. So that's a good thing.


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